According to the report of PEW —a US-based research center- the number of Muslims in the world is over 1.5 billions. The report that is regarded as the most extensive study focusing on population structure, has shown that Muslims population is (23%) almost one fourth of the world population which is currently 6.8 billion people.
The report is the result of three years study carried out by PEW Religion and Public Forum and it shows that 60 percent of Muslims live in Asia. It also declares; Muslims living in the Middle East and the North Africa constitute only 20 percent of all Muslim population.
Varying distribution of Muslim population
The researchers examining the demographic data from 232 countries have seen that conventional distribution of Muslim’s has been changed. Today there are more Muslims living in Germany, than in Lebanon. The Muslim population in Russia exceeds the total sum of the Muslims living in Jordan and Libya, and the Muslims in China are more than those living in Syria. One fifth of Muslims across the globe, approximately 317 millions live in countries where the Muslims are in the minority.
In that respect, the researchers drew attention to the situation of India, which hosts the third widest Muslim population. Millions of Muslims living there constitute only 13 percent of the population of India. Global Muslim Population Map report is recognized as the most extensive study on the subject. Amaney Jamal of Princeton University, after examining the research said; “the prejudices stating ‘Muslims are Arabs, and Arabs are Muslims,’ have been collapsed.
Following Christianity, Islam is the second largest religion in the world. The number of Christians is above 2 billion.
The research center is getting prepared to execute a similar study about the world distribution of Christianity, next year.
Shiites is about 10 percent
PEW forum has stated in the report that they had aimed to analyze the distribution of Shiites and Sunnis, but due to limited data on the subject, they haven’t had the results to the extend they expected.
Nonetheless it is estimated that Shiites constitute the 10 or 13 percent of all Muslim population.
80 percent of Shiites lives widely in these four countries; Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq.
The report which states that two thirds of Muslims live in ten countries, and these are; Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria.
38 million Muslims living in Europe constitute the 5 percent of the continental population.
Based on these facts, next year PEW Forum will examine the growth tendency of Muslim societies and their future status.